the edge of the world is its heart: a week of silent images: 1

12:00 PM Posted by James Owens


colleen said...

Amazing mushroom shot!

Sorlil said...

It is an amazing shot. The word 'heart' just above the reddish glow of the underside of the mushroom seems to give a fleshy human organ look to it!

veredit said...

O is one week for me, thank you - wonderful idea! and this fungus is magical, I've written a children's poem with mushrooms and dwarves, as it would also fit perfectly to do so.

S. Etole said...

quietly speaks ...

James Owens said...

Colleen: Thank you. There was a brief interlude of warmth last week. Most of the snow melted, and these popped up overnight.

James Owens said...

Sorlil: Mushrooms do have a fleshy look to them, and biologically they are ambiguous, not really plants -- at a cellular level, they supposedly have some characteristics of animals …. The picture fails to give any idea of scale. This mushroom is about an inch tall, with the camera lens right up against it…..,

James Owens said...

Veredit: Thank you. I will come to your children’s poetry site and look for that poem. I’m interested….

James Owens said...

Susan: Thank you for visiting. Sometimes these images that speak without words are best....

Dianne said...

You've captured what fascinates me about the light glowing in the natural world.

Roxana said...

the mushroom!!!


now i know this is going to be long, but it is really lovely and one of the most famous ballads of one of the greatest Romanian modernist poets - it is very difficult to translate Ion Barbu (since he forged an unique hermetic language) but this translation is stunning. yet you must try to read a bit the Romanian text as well, just to feel it on your tongue. I love it, as you can see :-)

King Crypto And Laplander Enigelle
by Ion Barbu

Oh, moody minstrel, hazier still

Than the old wine wedding guests toast,

Ribbons and gold reward thy skill,

Lavishly granted by the host.

Come, self-willed minstrel, cast thy spell,

Gather thy ample voice and sing

About Laplander Enigelle

And ancient Crypto, mushroom-king.

“Best wedding guest,

Thy feast so rich my tongue has chipped, Oh…

And yet, before I take my rest,

I’ll sing of Enigelle and Crypto.”

“Sing, minstrel, sing…

Your song burned hot one summertime ago;

Now, pray, sing softly, whispering,

In this here chamber, ere I go…”


Roxana said...

now the song of the minstrel, blogger opposed to such a long comment and i had to split it :-)

By woodlanders fervently sought

In riverbed and miry clay,

King Crypto of the Fungi Court,

Obscure at heart, was holding sway,

Enthroned on everlasting dew…

His fungus folk believed, forsooth,

There lived a toadstool-witch who knew

The fountain of eternal youth,

While evil snowdrops, violets blue

Popped out of holes, their language vile,

And called him barren, vicious, too,

For he would not become fertile.

In distant lands of ill-starred ice

There used to dwell a Lapland belle,

Petite and exquisitely nice

And garbed in furs, named Enigelle.

From wintering to luscious spring

Borne by reindeer through the young year

All southward bound, moist air around,

She paused upon moss-covered ground

Within chaste Crypto’s green frontier.

In Crypto’s glade, on rugs of shade

She went to sleep, purring away;

The little king of glabrous skin

And his old eunuch came to bring

Her strawberries upon a tray:

“Enigelle, Enigelle,

Have some strawberries, pray, here…

They are sweet, good to eat,

Take a few in your pannier.”

“I bow down to the ground

For the offer you carry,

Yet can’t stay – on my way

I’ll pick fruit… Now I can’t tarry.”

“Enigelle, Enigelle,

Night is waning, light draws near,

If you must move on fast,

Pick me first, I pray thee, here…”

“Wish I could, o, gentle King…

See the dawn’s advancing stripe?

You’re a sappy, tender thing,

You can’t take what light might bring –

You must wait until you’re ripe.”

“Can’t get ripe, Enigelle,

I can’t face the wild sun’s glare –

It’s a nightmare straight from hell,

Red and burning, I can’t bear,

Spotted with an evil spell…

Pray, forsake it, Enigelle,

In sweet slumber and cool air.”

“Alas, what have you done, King Crypto?

The poison that your words have spread

Has hit me, and my heart is gripped, oh,

For shade is what I mostly dread.

I may be hatched in winter’s womb,

The polar bear may be my kin,

Yet I have parted with the gloom

And now I hail the sun as king.

By lamps of ice, beneath the snows,

My pole is dreaming the same dream –

A precious gong of gold that glows,

All streaked with green around the rim.

I worship Sun with utter zest

From deep within my fountain-soul,

The white wheel spinning in my chest

Pervades me with its aureole.

While sunshine makes my wheel increase,

Flesh clings unto its shady shore,

And slumber does curtail its lease,

Which wind and shade again restore.”

Thus spake, her voice a tiny bell,

The righteous damsel, Enigelle…

Time, nonetheless, would run its course –

The sun erupted in full force

And from above, its fire fell…

“Weep, thou, sagacious Enigelle!

How can poor Crypto, fungus king,

Withstand the sun’s relentless sting?”

Said he, as helplessly he fell

Away from Lady Enigelle,

To seek relief ‘neath shadow’s wing.

The sun, a burning globe of fire,

Was mirrored in the king entire,

Was mirrored ten times, deep inside

King Crypto’s shiny, glabrous hide.

And sour went his sweet, sweet sap,

His heart obscure broke with a snap,

Accurséd venom, dark red oil

Beneath his skin began to boil,

Burst the ten life-seals with their toil.

For too much sun is hard to stand

By fungus bred on forest land;

The soul’s deep waters are released

In man alone, the ancient beast,

Whereas in creatures more fragile

Thought is a chalice full of bile,

As in the tale of mad King Crypto,

Whose heart obscure by fire was stripped, oh,

And afterwards he went astray

With mates of kinglier array –

The subtle, cold serpent of old,

To spread the world around with gold,

To squander it in rites obscene

With Lady Mandrake – bride and queen.

if you'd like the Romanian version, let me know...

Pacey said...

No words needed on your photos James, they all speak a thousand words.

James Owens said...

Dianne: I'm very glad you like it. Light, yes ... through everything, weaving all into the one pattern....

James Owens said...

Roxana: !!!

I love this, this tale of impossible, doomed longing in the wood of fairytale... Thank you so much for this.

I can't wait to try the Romanian text!

James Owens said...

Pacey: Thank you for visiting.

A said...

I like the colors and angle of this photo. very nice!

James Owens said...

A: Thank you. It was briefly (very briefly) warm one day last week, and these mushrooms popped up overnight in a ring around an old tree stump. I couldn’t resist them, so I spent half an hour getting my knees soaked and muddy, crawling around and trying to get a good shot. This and one other came out ok -- all the rest were unidentifiable blurs of color….